AMHERST, Mass. (WWLP) – Hampshire College has decided not to fly any flags on campus after an American flag was burned at the college.
In a statement to 22News, Hampshire College’s president Johnathan Lash announced neither the American flag nor any other flags will be flown on campus.
This comes after the school received harsh criticism from veterans and community members over the flag that was burnt.
“It is a disrespect. That shouldn’t have happened in the first place.”
Following the presidential election, the campus flag was lowered to half-staff, which offended veterans and some community members and then, someone set it on fire the night before Veterans Day. Many found the gesture to be disrespectful.
Christopher Benedetto of Ridgefield, Connecticut told 22News, “They can be upset, but, they don’t have a lot to worry about. They’re going to a pretty nice school. I’m sure things are pretty good for them. They need to show it a different way, basically.”
Amherst has been in the spotlight, due to the fact that Hampshire is located here, but this is not the first time there has been a flag controversy in this community. In the past years, there was debate whether commemorate flags should be flown in downtown on 9/11.
Last year that changed and the Select Board voted to fly the flags annually. An Amherst College student told 22News, the flag at Hampshire College should have never been touched.
Shamtum Jha, of Amherst College, “Well, to be honest, the flag should not have been lowered in the first place, because that just shows outright intolerance for what has happened.”
President Lash said the campus will continue to consult with students and staff about appropriately utilizing flags in the future.